can love survive trump Archives - Cyber Dating Expert : Cyber Dating Expert
In the News

Can Love Withstand Donald Trump? A Dating Expert’s Story

Can Love Withstand Trump

I have a confession.


I’ve been hiding a secret and can no longer remain silent.

As a dating coach in the business of love, I saw first-hand the strain on people’s relationships — including mine — when Donald Trump ran for and eventually became president.

During the campaign, my long-term boyfriend and I were on opposite ends of the political spectrum. He was on the right, and I was on the left. Initially, this didn’t alarm me, but over time, the division began to tear us apart, putting our relationship to the test.

I now fear, in this current political climate, that President Trump has destroyed romance as it once existed.

Once upon a time — two decades ago — we lived the fairy tale.

We fell in love at first sight, and after several joyful years together, we went separate ways. I wanted marriage, and he wasn’t ready.

Eventually, we wed others and lost touch.

Then in 2015, both divorced, we found our way back through Facebook Chat, proving a love so strong could never die.

We began sending each other digital versions of photographs neither of us had tossed away. His albums had been stored in an attic, while mine collected dust in a garage.

“We should meet up for a long drink and catch up,” his message said one morning.

I thought about it and both hesitantly and nervously, I agreed.

The moment our familiar eyes locked, we instantly realized the spark was still there.

I was the woman he wasn’t allowed to speak of during his marriage, he explained. He was the one I often regretted letting go.

When his curated mix of love songs arrived in the mail, two hearts resealed, and we resumed our romantic journey toward a second chance at love.

“We have the greatest story,” he proudly announced to my girlfriends when we reunited. I felt the same.

Blissfully, we started merging our lives with music as our backdrop.

He accompanied me to the Walt Disney Concert Hall to watch Gustavo Dudamel conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Looking handsome, he wore an Italian sports jacket, and his sparkling hazel eyes matched mine identically.

I went to the Stagecoach Country Music Festival with him, wearing my Stetson cowboy hat as we walked through miles of dust and hay.

We posted photos online of us looking deliriously happy.

After a decade and a half apart, we were, admittedly, different people with dissimilar lifestyles.

I was more of an urban girl who lived in Los Angeles and frequented the liberal desert city of Palm Springs. He lived in a post-divorce rental home one hour north of me in Ventura County and thrived in the ultra-conservative mountains of Northern Idaho.

“It’s just geography,” I thought, and as a couple, we seemed to co-exist in each other’s favorite places with ease.

“I’m sorry I never proposed to you back then,” he said one evening.

My heart instantly started to race. Was my boyfriend about to get down on one knee with a ring?

After a moment of silence, I secretly hoped we still had time.

Although he had a history of commitment issues, our renewed love was growing stronger every day. That was until the heated election season rolled in when our perfect relationship started to fray.

“I can’t take another four years of the Clintons,” he murmured while pouring himself a martini.

“Don’t tell me you’d vote for Trump,” I yelled, then lost my appetite.

Once a registered Democrat, during our time apart, my boyfriend shifted his support to the Republican Party. He also hated the fact that Hillary Clinton was running for president.

Throughout the campaign, people were taking sides, and the effects began to permeate the bedroom. Couples were splitting up in “you’re fired” style — basically, instantly and without warning.

The great political divide was crushing relationships, including ours.

In a time of angry accusations of “fake news,” I started feeling like I was living in an all-too-real, fake relationship.

I was in deep conflict, believing we were the poster couple for eternal love. I didn’t want our story to end, so I buttoned my lips when he brought up his anti-liberal rants, and rolled my eyes when he praised “The Donald.”

RELATED: Love Vs. Trump – Is Politics Polarizing Relationships?

“Turn off the TV,” he insisted, as I watched the Democratic debates during our trip to the Florida Keys.

Real Time with Bill Maher was off-limits.

“Really? I asked. “I can’t watch one of my favorite talk shows?”

Instead, we settled on watching romantic comedies on demand, curled up together, as a form of truce.

When political coverage became a 24-hour reality show, I noticed his attitude and values contrasted sharply from mine. I believe in gun control and Obamacare, and he’s proud of his gun closet and supports the “big, beautiful wall.”

I thought we could just agree to disagree as my parents did, but it was clear our bipartisan relationship was in jeopardy.

For a woman with a big and public voice, I remained unusually quiet, with the hope that he’d calm down after the voting frenzy was over. Slowly, I started to pull away from him, and I felt him doing the same.

One month before Election Day, we officially became a long-distance couple. He moved to Las Vegas, and I stayed in Los Angeles. With 300 miles between us, and Trump looking over my shoulder, it was challenging to stay connected.

I visited him to see the Rolling Stones in concert. He came my way for Stevie Nicks.

Then Donald Trump surprised us both by winning the election.

Shortly after, with tensions still high, he escorted me to a Hollywood party where both of us arrived dressed in purple to represent unity during a combative time.

On Inauguration Day, my boyfriend couldn’t take his eyes off the television, and I couldn’t bear to watch. He was as excited with Trump’s swearing-in as he’d be if he scored an eagle on his favorite golf course.

Then I asked myself, “Could we survive Trump?”

Here I was, with a man who believed our country’s new leader was making America great again. Meanwhile, I checked Trump’s daily tweets, now the primary source of hard news, as my blood pressure rose.

It was clear my guy didn’t want a left-leaning girlfriend, and I couldn’t express my feelings freely.

Still, on Valentine’s Day, a few weeks later, my beloved curated the perfect 48-hour love fest, and the cloud of politics never made it to the bedroom.

He drove over four hours bringing me one dozen long-stemmed roses in a ruby-red vase, embellished with a crystal heart bracelet. We later dined at an ocean-view table at Shutters on the Beach hotel in Santa Monica, where two years earlier we had reunited.

Together, we posted photos of us on social media and still felt in love as we toasted, “to us.”

It was our last night together as a couple.

Three days later, we called it quits.

Since he’d moved out of state, I tried to convince myself distance caused the split, but it was differing politics and the associated party values that slowly killed us.

RELATED: Post-Inauguration Breakups: Differing Politics Are Destroying Love

Our president became his new hero, and he mirrored the commander-in-chief’s beliefs and behavior. He wanted a polyamorous relationship, and I wanted a devoted partner. It crushed us, but much to my surprise, I wasn’t devastated.

During the time that our country became so polarized, we had changed. My emotions went from sad to mad, but eventually, I started to feel empowered, and my voice re-emerged.

After our romance ended, I decided it was time to look for someone on my side. Luckily, I quickly met a political junkie who lives in town online on Match. He listed himself as liberal in his dating profile, which was enough for me to click the reply button.

Our first date was at a harbor-view restaurant in the Marina. A good sport, he drove over an hour in heavy traffic from downtown LA, looking distinguished in a business suit and tie. I felt immediately at ease.

“Did you vote for Trump?” he asked.

“No,” I quickly replied, as we both sighed with relief.

It was a deal breaker for us both, and as we talked about our nation’s challenges, we clicked.

I admired my brilliant date for helping Dreamers, along with his belief in stronger gun control laws. We talked about Obamacare, tax reform, net neutrality, and immigration issues plaguing sanctuary cities.

Call me a sapiosexual, but his intellect was an aphrodisiac, and our conversations lasted for hours. The floodgates opened, and in time, so did my heart. Who knew that shared leanings and Saturday Night Live monologues could top a mutual desire for dark chocolate?

Because we were in sync, we advanced to a second date, then to a third, and by now, we’ve lost count.

Talking about politics in Trump’s America is important to me.

I worry about our country, but I don’t regret reuniting with my former beau. While I realize our deep history and unconditional love had brought us back together, it’s a huge relief not to have that burning question of “what if” circling inside my head.

However, love is conditional, with politics now residing atop the dating totem pole. As disappointed as I am with our president, I have him to thank for this realization.

And I learned a valuable lesson when my love life got “trumped.”

I’m now watching Bill Maher’s monologues in the arms of a man who appreciates my strong voice, and I am forever grateful to be heard.

RELATED: Dating in a Trump World – One Year Later

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s a bestselling author and the the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert. As an early adopter of Internet dating, Julie’s been coaching singles on finding love online for almost 25 years.

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

SIGN UP for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter for dating advice delivered to your inbox

 

Love vs. Trump: Is Politics Polarizing Relationships?

Love Vs. Trump: Politics Polarizing Relationships

It’s been one-year since Donald Trump took office, and singles are still dealing with the big political elephant in the room, our commander-in-chief and his tweets.

During the election, and in the aftermath since Trump became president, talking about politics has become critical when dating someone new, and to those within their existing relationships.

I recently wrote an essay, Can Love Survive Trump, where I revealed my big confession on how I struggled in my relationship with my long-term love. He had strong and vocal opposing views from mine when it came to politics.

As a dating coach, I believe I provide good dating advice on how to navigate the singles scene, even with politically opposite views. I also really believe in having a good debate. While coaching others on how to talk about politics on a date, I found I didn’t take my advice and kept silent about my complicated relationship status. I now feel liberated, and continue to coach and write about the great political divide.

Politics has become so divisive in dating, that conversations that start at the breakfast table end up on opposite sides in the bedroom. They often no longer include, “Sweet dreams” and a hug.

When one person walks in the Women’s March wearing a pink hat, and the other is jumping for joy about the new tax reform, it’s clear that talking about differing political views need to happen on the first date, if not sooner.

Dating Sites Weigh In

In a Match Singles in America study, they showed that talking about politics on a first date will result in a 91% chance of putting the second one on the calendar.

OkCupid found that 50% of its users won’t date someone with opposing political views. The site also found that users mentioning political words in their profiles increased by more than 1000% from 2015 to 2017.

OkCupid Trump

The site, known for asking provocative questions, has 19 questions about politics. “Trump?” received the most answers, with 74% responding “hell no” and only 4% answering “hell yes.” The most answered question was “Should guns be allowed in schools?” The most polarizing question is, “Did Russia hack the last US election?”

Mobile dating app profiles now include political terms, or instructions to “swipe left if you vote for Trump,” or “swipe right if you think Trump’s making America great again.”

Tinder Politics Dating Deal Breakers

Tinder states that 71% of their users won’t date a Trump supporter. Their Modern Dating Myths, released in April of 2017 showed, “Opposing political views were getting more left swipes.” Nine out of 10 of my dating coaching clients said that having similar political views with their dates are important to them.

Coffee Meets Bagel tells me their poll of 1320 members showed that the majority, 70%, who are Democrats said politics was impacting their dating lives, as compared to 43% of Republican singles.

Plenty of Fish conducted several surveys on politics and dating in 2016 and 2016 and offered some promising news.

POF found while the current political climate is tense, it’s starting to lighten up. They found that less than 1% of singles used the terms “Trump” or “Republican” or “Democrat” in their profiles. They also said that 90% of people had not broken up with someone over political views or party affiliation since the election and recommended not talking about politics on a first date.

Experts Weigh in on Trump and Politics

I spoke with Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and Chief Science Officer at Match, who said, “If singles feel very strongly about their political views, they should add it to their profiles.”

CNN Political Contributor and KABC Radio co-host John Phillips agrees with Fisher. “If both people are passionate and care about politics a great deal, it could be a problem,” said Fisher. “But then the relationship is probably doomed anyway.”

Dr. Fisher’s research indicates that people gravitate towards people who share their values. “For couples who are polar opposite politically, they just have to agree to disagree and find a way to respect each other,” Fisher said.

“People are going to stay strong in their positions because we aren’t talking about how you butter your toast,” said Fisher. “Things with the Dreamers and the immigrants is real and taps into basic values.”

Deal breakers for singles used to include height, smoking, and religion. They’ve been replaced with politics as a top deal breaker, with singles feeling more comfortable dating someone with same political views.

Phillips, who identifies as Republican, tells me that politics is more critical than ever in today’s dating world. “It’s more important than it used to be because the news has essentially become one endless talk show about politics,” said Phillips.

He believes politically charged opposite couples can co-exist in Trump’s America. “If Dodger fans can date Giants fans without the relationship ending in a 911 call, Trump and Clinton supporters can co-exist without domestic violence,” Phillips said.

Are we heading to a point where we can agree to disagree over an appetizer and enjoy crème brûlée for dessert? I sure hope so.

“There used to be water cooler topics. Now there’s one water cooler topic: politics,” adds Phillips.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s been coaching singles on finding love online for almost 25 years with the Irresistible Profiles programs.

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

SIGN UP for the FREE Weekly Flirt email for dating advice delivered to your inbox.